HAPPIER TIMES? President Salva Kiir (in hat) with former First Vice President Riek Machar Teny

South Sudan has made a formal protest to Khartoum, against hosting the former First Vice President Riek Machar, who has since declared war against his country led by his political nemesis Salva Kiir Mayardit.

According to South Sudanese Deputy Head of Mission to Khartoum Kau Nak Maper, the Embassy on Thursday handed a protest letter to the foreign minister over the conditions of Machar’s hosting in Khartoum.

“The protest came on the background of the political activity carried out by Machar, and through which he declared the armed resistance against the government of Juba,” Maper said.

Following a three-day meeting in Khartoum, the SPLM-IO Political Bureau under the leadership of Riek Machar announced they opted for the armed struggle in order to establish a democratic regime in Juba.

Juba had been reassured by the Sudanese authorities that Machar is in Khartoum for humanitarian reasons, indicating he was receiving medical care.

The South Sudanese diplomat said the embassy has not yet received a response from the Sudanese government to the protest note. However, he pointed out that the lack of response would not lead to escalation or a crisis in the bilateral relations.

“The issue will be discussed during the meetings of the joint security committee between the two countries, which is taking place in Juba nowadays,” he revealed.

Last Monday, South Sudan’s Ambassador to Khartoum Mayan Dut Waal, said he was surprised to see the Sudanese government allowing Machar to declare war against his government, and called for a ban to his political activities against Juba.

ANNOUNCED MACHAR WOULD LEAVE SUDAN: Sudan foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour
ANNOUNCED MACHAR WOULD LEAVE SUDAN: Sudan foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour

On the same day, Sudan Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour stressed that Sudan wouldn’t serve as a launching pad for any armed opposition activities against South Sudan.

Twenty four hours later he said that the rebel leader would leave Sudan in the near future without further details.

“The hosting of former South Sudanese First Vice President Riek Machar in Sudan is temporary, as he is now admitted to a Khartoum hospital and will leave the country soon,” he said.